The Ireland team to take on Wales at the Principality Stadium in the first round of the 2021 Guinness Six Nations Championship, Sunday February 7.
Johnny Sexton will captain the side as he competes in his 12th Six Nations Championship and his second as Ireland captain. He is joined in the half-backs by Conor Murray who is one of five players from the match day squad who played in Ireland’s last Six Nations victory in Cardiff in 2013 (Murray, Sexton, Healy, O’Mahony, Earls).
Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose are partnered in midfield having last started a Test match together in the quarter-final of the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Hugo Keenan is selected at fullback with support on the wings from Keith Earls and James Lowe, who makes his Six Nations debut.
Cian Healy, who makes his 50th Six Nations appearance, is joined in the front row by Rob Herring and Andrew Porter. Tadhg Beirne and James Ryan form the lock partnership with Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier and CJ Stander named in the backrow.
The game kicks off at 3pm.
IRELAND v Wales: 15. Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 6 caps; 14. Keith Earls (Munster/Young Munster) 88 caps, 13. Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 30 caps, 12. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/Buccaneers) 47 caps, 11. James Lowe (Leinster) 2 caps;
10. Jonathan Sexton, captain (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 95 caps, 9. Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen) 87 caps; 1. Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 104 caps, 2. Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 16 caps, 3. Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 32 caps; 4. Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 17 caps, 5. James Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 32 caps; 6. Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution) 73 caps, 7. Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 28 caps, 8. CJ Stander (Munster/Shannon) 46 caps
Replacements: 16. Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne) 6 caps; 17. Dave Kilcoyne (Munster/UL Bohemians) 39 caps; 18. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 44 caps; 19. Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) 58 caps; 20. Will Connors (Leinster/UCD) 5 caps; 21. Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 5 caps; 22. Billy Burns (Ulster) 3 caps; 23. Jordan Larmour (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 24 caps.
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